Monthly Archives: February 2010

Personal Trainers and Their Discontents

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: I’m a lazy, clumsy weakling. This makes me the perfect candidate for a personal trainer.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I don’t know what I really expected the personal trainer to do when I swaggered into the gym for my free session. Perhaps I was hoping he would look me up and down and say, “There’s nothing for me to do here. Run along now, I don’t want to ruin a masterpiece.”

TED BERG: Look, bro: I know I’ve got problem areas. I’m at the gym. I got over the biggest hurdle just to get here. If I was the picture of physical fitness, I’d be out having sex or breakdancing somewhere. Continue reading

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Health Care Reform Bill Posted

JESSICA BADER: The Great Democratic Freakout of 2010 appears to have run its course as the final preparations for Thursday’s bipartisan summit on health care reform are made. Perhaps bolstered by the profoundly unsurprising revelation that a big chunk of the opposition to reform comes from those who were never going to vote for a Democrat anyway, Congressional leaders have committed to the strategy that was the obvious path to take once the Democrats lost the 60th Senate seat needed to end a filibuster – have the House of Representatives pass the health care reform bill that already passed the Senate in December and use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to iron out some of the differences between that bill and the one that the House passed in November.

HOWARD MEGDAL: The bill released by the White House Monday occupies a very different political space than the ones passed by the House and Senate, respectively. Continue reading

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Chrysler v. Lake Mary High

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: There is, or should be, no question that what Lake Mary High (and for the moment I’m treating the school as an entity, a conceit I will abandon below) did constitutes infringement of Chrysler’s (again, shorthand for convenience) exclusive rights to its intellectual property—under both trademark law and copyright law of this country.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Matthew is right when he says that Chrysler is legally in the right. The bigger question is: why on earth is Chrysler taking this action? Continue reading

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Tavi: Phenom or Premature?

HOWARD MEGDAL: For those who would dismiss Tavi, the 13-year-old fashion blogger, I’d simply ask: why?

Her writing is sound. Her perspective often takes into account historical trends that affect fashion. Yes, she is getting access to shows that many other writers took years to access. But does this say anything other than the simple truth: the Internet has democratized people’s access to writers and writing, and vice versa.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: The seven year old from the overwhelmingly popular YouTube video ‘David After Dentist’ seems to be doing all right, but he could be one of the lucky ones.

AKIE BERMISS: I’m not sure I could disagree anymore vehemently with Howard. While I enjoy the novelty of Tavi’s blog and her perspective as a 13 year old. I don’t really care about the novelty of her blog and I seriously mistrust her perspective as a 13-year-old. To say that her writing is “sound” is to mislead the public. Her writing is certainly adequate: everything is spelled correctly, all the words mean what she thinks they mean, she’s got a penchant for humor (though it is that 13-year-old girl humor that is dependent on rabid repetition of the word “like” and such rampant superlative and hyperbole that everything begins to seem neon). That said, she’s not that great. I knew many kids who, at 13, we writing much better than that. And I knew a ton of girls who wrote about fashion almost exclusively.

In their diaries.

EMILY SAIDEL: No matter how many books she has read, she does not have either the lived experience or the education to support her blog as informed analysis. Yet, she is positioning herself (and being positioned) via her front row seats at fashion shows and her direct contact with designers as an analyst equal to fashion professionals. Continue reading

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90s Music: Reunion or Retirement

Dave Tomar: Rock and roll retirement is the rarest of decisions. Most rock stars opt instead to age with the grace of a milk carton left on the radiator–clumping, curdling and stinking hideously, in a way for all the world to see. Then there are those who leave the game early, like Kurt Cobain, who announced his retirement with a bullet.

CHRIS PUMMER: I can’t deny that positive things have come about from rock stars of the 90s reuniting. Where I maybe part ways with Dave is that I’m beginning to feel like the strolls down memory lane are getting a little too long. Continue reading

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Palin/Romney: Who Is Winning?

HOWARD MEGDAL: The 2012 primaries are a long way off, but by any measure, Sarah Palin is the favorite right now to be the GOP standard-bearer in the next presidential election. GOP strategist Phil Musser, among many others, have come to this conclusion. I have felt this way since the fall of 2008, and nothing that has taken place since then has changed my mind.

CHRIS PUMMER: Mitt Romney has the steadiest political hands that will try to reach for the 2012 Republican nomination, which is why he’ll be the likely winner. Continue reading

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Sexual Satisfaction by Gender

HOWARD MEGDAL: This piece in the Washington Post spurred quite a bit of discussion among The Perpetual Post writers this past week. For me, it was less a question of a problem with the findings- I am sure sexual satisfaction in women is a complicated set of factors. Instead, what I can’t help but wonder is: have we given up on thinking the only issue men need to resolve for a satisfying sex life is making sure erections don’t last more than four hours?

AKIE BERMISS: Female sexuality remains, for me, one of life’s great unsolved mysteries. And if any of my female friends know the answers to my many questions: they are keeping it secret. I suspect that every day, in ever way, we are becoming better human beings. That all the horrible things going down all over the world are simply the necessary growing pains for a species that feeds off of enlightenment (as much as it does ignorance). I also believe that part of growing into enlightenment is dependent upon our ability to understand the simple things that still evade us. And, generally speaking, the jury is still out on sexuality.
JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: So, I’m a woman. And I daresay I’m a relatively sexual one. But I’m no closer to any sort of answer to this conundrum than The Washington Post, Howard or Akie. Sex and sexuality are tricky business.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: My first impression of the Washington Post article was less to wonder about male vs. female treatments than about the way we treat illnesses and other problems in general. Continue reading

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Albums of the Decade Lists

STEPHON JOHNSON: I’m all for lists when it comes to music. I just think that once in a while we should wait and let things marinate before we start categorizing everything.

CHRIS PUMMER: I’m in full agreement with Stephon that best-of-decade lists come out before the real impact of recently released music and sink in for fans and critics.

That’s still no reason why these lists can’t be fun. Continue reading

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Jazz Musician Life Skills

TED BERG: After I made dinner for my wife a few months ago — I don’t even remember the meal — she asked me how I made it without the recipe and had it come out so good. I was flattered, of course, but I told her my confidence in the kitchen stemmed from my training as a jazz musician, because cooking is all about improvising.

AKIE BERMISS: There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think to myself how lucky I am to have my jazz training. And its not because I’m making good money and living high on the hog — I am , most assuredly, not — but because it has given me a rather specialized set of skills for dealing with many of daily life’s little tragedies and triumphs. Continue reading

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Lost: Week 3

TED BERG: OK, a much better episode than last week’s Kate nonsense. And finally, some answers.

ZOË RICE: See Lost? See how much more compelling you are when it’s not a Kate episode? Mmm, tantalizing. For one, Locke is a fascinating character: At once weak and fearful yet filled with conviction, guided by faith and yet burned by blind faith at every turn. But that Locke is gone. In his place is Somewhat Happier Locke, with his Helen and his reconciled father, and Smokey Locke, with…well, with a boatload of intriguing mystery yet to uncover. Continue reading

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